Possible Halo Effect with Canon 70-200 f.2.8 L IS USM II

The Canon 70-200 f.2.8 L IS USM II is quite a flagship of a lens. At $2500 and 2.9 pounds it is quite a beast, and almost every review or recommendation I’ve seen on it states that the only real issue with it is that you will never change lenses after using it.

Possible Halo Effect with Canon 70-200 f.2.8 L IS USM II

Lisbon based Photographer Rui M Leal had a different experience though. Rui was assigned to shoot a concert when he noticed a bright halo at the edge of the frame when shooting at the 90-110 zoom range.

I took it [the 70-200 lens] for an assignment and start to noticed that between the zoom range 90mm-110mm it produced some kind of a strange flare, well not a flare but more of an halo. First I thought it could be something related to the front filter but that being also a Canon Protect I thought it was a little odd and decided to test it out without the filter on a new assignment.

After fiddling with 3 different new lenses, all exhibiting the same halo effect, Rui deducted it may be a real issue and contacted Canon. Canon Germany replied that this is “not a malfunction it was a NORMAL procedure with this lens under this lighting condition as per information of Canon Inc. Tokyo“.

While this is a pretty isolated event, I wonder if it is just a metter of photographers not noticing this behavious as Canon confirmed it.

Being the methodical person that he is, Rui tried to check where the halo is coming from and discovered that one of the internal threads was reflecting light that bounced and created that halo lined reflection.

Possible Halo Effect with Canon 70-200 f.2.8 L IS USM II

Here are some photos and videos showing how clear the effect is:

Possible Halo Effect with Canon 70-200 f.2.8 L IS USM II

Possible Halo Effect with Canon 70-200 f.2.8 L IS USM II

Possible Halo Effect with Canon 70-200 f.2.8 L IS USM II

Rui reports that this effect was not present with his older 70-200 L IS USM II lens.

Currently Rui is waiting for more data from Canon on this, and I certainly can’t blame him for being annoyed after spending $2500 on a lens.

Halo Problems on Canon Lens 70-200 L IS USM II | Rui M Leal

  • www.renatolainho.com

    i’m glad i got my cheap Tamron 😀

  • Tc Morgan

    Never had this happen with mine. But now I want to try to get this to happen as it looks like a cool effect. Thanks.

    • Ricardo Ribeiro

      i can see canon saying that the halo is a feature not a problem 😀

      • Rui M Leal

        LOL, a new lens filter 😉

    • Joel Penner

      Just go out on a very bright and sunny day. First time it happened to me I thought something was wrong with the lens.

      • Rui M Leal

        Joel Flare is a normal thing of the lenses, not this halo on the sides that sometimes even blocks the image ruin it.

        • Joel Penner

          Haha, my wife actually kind of liked it and was playing around with it as you would a filter.

    • Rui M Leal

      Let me know what you got, All the best.

  • Robert

    I think the watermark ruins the photos more than the halo.

    • Rui M Leal

      Me too 😉

  • malaviKat

    I’ve never had that happen and my 70-200 II lives on my camera. I wonder if it’s something caused by the uniqueness of concert lighting as well?

    • Rui M Leal

      Thanks, I wish it was but it happens to any situation where you have some kind of bright back light and you need to shoot between 90mm and 110mm

      • malaviKat

        Well you’d be more likely to get back lighting at a concert than in many typical situations. (Many, not all).

        I see you’re referencing the new pinch cap models, mine is about a year or so older than that. I’ll keep an eye out for the haloing.

  • Dave

    I recently noticed a halo like this on a Mark I. Similarly shooting environment as well.

    • Rui M Leal

      Dave the Halo on the image above is a normal thing and they call and marked it as a flare issue. My halos are not flares they are more of a lens defect.

  • Todd Klassy

    Stupid. The previous version of this lens did the same thing too. Can occur any time there is a light source shining directly into the lens (see that in each image above). Not hard to remove from frame either…just tilt it a wee bit. Here is a shot where I used it to my advantage.


    • Rui M Leal

      Hi Todd this is usually the normal flare effect produced by the lenses. Mine is not producing the normal flare effects even with bright sun behind instead it gives me this horrible halo on the sides. It looks like some defective glass reflection from the inner part.

  • Mutzakum

    it´s the best on his images if you ask me…..

    • Rui M Leal

      Thanks, I also think it produces a great effect but I would like it more as a filter and not as a permanent thing

  • Joel Penner

    I rented this lens and noticed it last year out at Mt. Shasta. Not really a big deal and can be seen in the view finder *before* you take the shot. Just change angles and it disappears. Just like we do anytime we don’t like the lens flares… change angles

    • Rui M Leal

      Thanks Joel for the input. The problem with concerts and stage lighting is that sometimes you cannot really change the angle you are in.

  • bwg

    And Canon says it’s Behaving As Designed? That’s BAD.

  • GDPhotography

    That’s totally normal when shooting against stage lights. There is nothing wrong with the 70-200. That halo effect is caused by strong light hitting ANY lens “at an angle” and not direct light. From the video footage, it’s obvious that he’s not using a lens hood, or maybe using a short one…lens hoods won’t reduce your ego as most photographers think, it just reduces the angle of incident light, which to a certain extent eliminates the halo and flare effect (in case you don’t need them)

    • Rui M Leal

      Thank for the comment, but yes I always use lens hood on my lens. I’m sorry to disagree with you but this is really not a normal thing on this fine lens. Over 30 years I photograph with a lot of 70-200 and this new series with the new pinch lens cap are the ones who are coming out with this problem. Either Canon made a faster production, after the Japan incident, so they can catch up with sales and lowered the control quality or this is a bad batch that came out of their factory and as always they do not want to admit it globally and prefer to keep this internally has I’m sure many would not have such a problem. This does not always happen on stage light, I can create the same bad thing if I try to shoot a client under the bright back light sun. Thanks for the feedback

  • WahoGT

    Looks normal to me. Any lens with large and/or multiple elements can result in flare/halos… But it’s not like you can’t see it as it happens, and adjust if necessary. Lens hoods help, but they’re useless if you’re shooting directly into the light source. I’ve had this happen with other very expensive glass as well, like the 85L. To me, it’s just the result of shooting into the light, not a lens problem.

    • Rui M Leal

      Thanks for the reply, this happens with the lens hood. I always use lens hood on all my lens either for protection and to prevent this situations from happening. Although I shoot with other 70-200 USM IS L II and never got this halo effect on them, yes for the flares that I call them a normal but this halo looks to me more of a lens defect construction than anything else. Hope this would not happen to many who invested a lot of money on this great lens. Cheers and Thanks for the comment

  • http://www.joelmeaders.com/ Joel Meaders

    Maybe there is a ghost living in the lens and you need to smash it to let it free? That’d be my first course of action. I can’t stand ghosts.

  • Billy Thronton

    Most of my camera purchases used to be from Nikkon, And Yes I bought f2.8 lens from a nikon brand . Here is its description